Annual safety report, stats released Sept. 30

Of all the new statistics provided in Campus Safety Services’ 2015 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, one particular crime increased dramatically on Main Campus from 2013-14: alcohol-related referrals.

According to the report, there were 295 reported “liquor law referrals” on Main Campus in 2013. Last year, 559 such incidents were reported—an increase of more than 89 percent.

Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said much of the growth in this statistic is because of increased monitoring in residence halls on campus. There was also a greater effort to keep an eye on the rising student population off campus, he said.

“Some of these things, we drive our own numbers,” Leone said. “What I mean by that is when we’re seeing incidents happening, and we’re planning for being proactive, sometimes we do more directed enforcement.”

Because of this approach, theft also severely dropped from 2012-2014. According to the report, 279 thefts were reported in 2012. Last year, 215 were reported, a decrease of more than 22 percent.

Leone said Donna Gray, manager for Risk Reduction and Advocacy Services at Temple, has been largely responsible for this decrease. In 2010, she started a theft-reduction program, which involves student workers placing stickers on items left unattended for extended periods of time in high-traffic university buildings.

Another reason that statistic has greatly reduced is because of a drop in bike thefts, Leone said.

“Our bike thefts last year went down 42 percent,” he said. “So that drove our numbers down … it’s lucrative and easy [to steal], depending how you lock your bike. Or sometimes, people don’t lock their bike.”

Despite the decrease in theft, the number of sex offenses increased from 2013-14. Eight were reported on Main Campus in 2013, while 12 were recorded last year, according to the report.

Leone said these incidents can be difficult to track because of under reporting and the number of ways students can report them. However, education has improved about sexual assault and related crimes, he added.

“I think students are more aware of the resources that are here,” he said. “And there’s several ways you can report it. It doesn’t always have to require police involvement—you can talk to the Wellness Resource Center, you can talk to an RA, so I think we’re getting a lot more reports coming in.”

Leone added if an incident from the past is reported years after it happened, it’s recorded in the present year.

The number of burglaries also increased  from 2013-14. In 2013, seven were reported on Main Campus. Last year, 23 were reported—more than tripling the number of incidents from two years ago.

Leone said one reason this tends to happen is because Temple Police tend to “score” incidents that could either be a theft or burglary as the latter. Many factors determine how this is decided, he said.

“It has to do with whether the door was locked, or if there was any force involved,” he said. “If it looks like we’re unsure, then we’ll score it as a burglary.”

Besides the statistics, Leone encourages students to review the report for the various resources available to them, including those connected to incidents of sexual assault.

“There are many ways you can formally or informally report it,” he said. “This way, students can see there are ways they can bring forward the information in that they can be strictly confidential, or talk to folks where it’s limited information … so there are some areas there that students may feel better about talking with someone.”

Steve Bohnel can be reached at steve.bohnel@temple.edu or on Twitter @Steve_Bohnel.

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